It is common for rookies to struggle in their 1st year playing in the NFL. When this happens, it’s typical for NFL fans to call these rookies out; especially 1st rounders. It’d also common for 2nd year players to break out. In the 2017 draft, here were plenty of 1st rounders who did great, and others who struggled tremendously. Let’s look at some 1st rounders from the 2017 NFL draft that struggled last year, but has a great chance of breaking out.
Note: Players such as Marshon Lattimore will not be on this list because they already “broke out.”
Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky
Trubisky actually didn’t do too bad his rookie year. In his 12 games started, he threw for 2,183 yards, 7 touchdowns and interceptions. He definitely struggled a lot, but had his moments. He played great against the Bengals. He improved a lot in the pocket as the year went on. It’s also worth noting that he had very limited targets last year, and a bad coaching staff. It’s hard for a rookie quarterback to succeed if he doesn’t get any help. However, this year is a different story. He has a much better supporting cast. He has Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel, and Trey Burton. Though they aren’t the best, they’re a big improvement. Also worth noting that the Bears got offensive mastermind Matt Nagy, who can help Trubisky a lot.
Wide Receiver Corey Davis
The 5th overall pick had a bit of a quiet rookie campaign. This has been simply just because of how raw he was. It’s pretty common for rookie wide receivers to struggle. Davis had trouble transferring his skills from college to the NFL. Now that he has experience in the NFL, he’ll get a lot better. He showed that he has the talent, just needs to put it into play.
Wide Receiver John Ross
Ross had one of the most embarrassing rookie years in recent years. Filled with injuries, lack of knowledge of the playbook, and no confidence, it was a mess. With his amazing 0 catch performance, it won’t take much to improve. However, I see a big jump for Ross. His route running combined with his speed is just too good. Because of Green, he’s gonna be singled covered. He’s bound to get open. His stats won’t blow you away, but he’s gonna have plays that makes you remember why the Bengals drafted him at 9. He’s also gonna take a lot of pressure off of Green.
Defensive End Derek Barnett
The Eagles rookie had a bit of a slow start to the season. We saw him come on towards the end of the season. Barnett is surrounded by talent. He will have help all around him. If he continues to play like how he did at the end of the season, you can expect him to be a lot more productive.
Offensive Tackle Garrett Bolles
Left Tackle is one of the hardest positions in the NFL, so it’s no surprise that a rookie struggled in that position. Bolles had his ups and downs his rookie year. Bolles was penalized quite a bit for holding. But as history shows us, that is common for young offensive lineman. Bolles showed he’s capable of blocking some of the better edge rushers last year. If he can fix his holding issues, he’ll be one of the better left tackles in the NFL this year!